Virginia LeNeve

There will be a private family service for Virginia LeNeve, 90, of Bloomington, Illinois who passed away on Saturday (November 15, 2014) at Heritage Health Care, Normal, IL.

Memorials may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital of Peoria.

Beck Memorial Home, Bloomington, Illinois is in charge of arrangements.

Virginia is survived by her children; Robert LeNeve of Bloomington, Rene (Marilyn) LeNeve of Bloomington and Richard (Cheryl) LeNeve of Peoria along with 2 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild.

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Suzanne Elfgen Mrkacek

Suzanne Elfgen Mrkacek, 79, of Bloomington formerly of Alton IL, passed away unexpectedly Saturday 11/1/14.

Her visitation will be from 10:00-12:00 Noon Thursday (November 6, 2014) followed by a funeral service at 12 Noon at Trinity Lutheran Church located on 801 S. Madison Street in Bloomington, IL 61701. Beck Memorial Home, Bloomington, Illinois is in charge of arrangements.

Suzanne was born on May 14, 1935 in Alton, IL, the daughter of Eugene and Dorthy Elfgen. She married Rick Mrkacek on June 24, 1982, he survives.

Surviving are her children, Rick (Bernadette) Lauschke, David (Laura) Lauschke, Cathy (Perry) Albin, Jim (Kelli) Lauschke, Paul (Linda) Lauschke, Betsy (John) Prosperi; ten grandchildren, Christopher, Sarah, and Ben Lauschke, Jack, Katie, and Ellie Prosperi, David, Caroline and Natalie Lauschke, and Lisa Lauschke

Also surviving is her sister DoJe (Ron) Mottaz.

Suzanne graduated from Alton High School and the University of Illinois.

While raising her family she was involved in many Alton community activities including two terms on the Alton School Board.

After raising her family she began a career in aviation as a flight instructor teaching student pilots and then as a corporate pilot flying internationally for a local corporation. Suzanne and her husband started Premier Air Center in 1986 and later sold the company now know as West Star Aviation.

She was known as mom, Grandma Susie and a friend to all. She loved all animals including Augie, Max and Cooper.

Suzanne was an avid gardener and nurtured many friendships through her gardening. She loved reading her Bible in the morning and going to Bible studies.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be sent to: Share the Love in care of or Nancy Wadhams Servants Gift, Sponsorship 309-310-3092

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Pamela Sue Kitchens

Pamela Sue Kitchens, 67 of Normal, IL died at 5:25 PM on Monday October 27, 2014 at Heartland Health Care Center in Normal.

There will be a Celebration of life for Pamela on Sunday November 9, 2014 from 12 Noon until 2:00 PM at the G.E. Clubhouse, 1750 G.E. Road in Bloomington, IL. Cremation rites will be accorded. Beck Memorial Home in Bloomington is handling arrangements.

Pamela was born on January 6, 1947 in Bloomington to Russell and Emily Day Clem. She married Lindell Kitchens on August 17, 1973 in Bloomington. He preceded her in death on March 8, 2013. She is also preceded in death by her mother, one brother Mike Clem and one sister Cheryl Clem.

She is survived by her father, Russell Clem of Grapevine, Texas,
six children, Lori (Monty) Young of Girard, IL, Tammy (Tracy) Ford of Danvers, Jeff Henson of Bloomington, April Henson of Peoria, Robert (Lori) Henson of Normal, Angel Henson of Bloomington, fourteen grandchildren, Wayne, Tyler, Derek, Brittney, James, Kristina, Jeffery Jr., Brooke, Miguel, Drew, Robbie, Kole, Kaley, and Taylor and eleven great-grandchildren as well as two sisters and three brothers.

Pamela loved to play Bingo. She also enjoyed playing cards with her family and friends. Her favorite thing was spending quality time with her children and grandchildren.

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Terry Lee Clark

Terry Lee Clark, 58, of Normal, died at 10:50 a.m. Thursday (Oct. 23, 2014) at his residence.

There will be a funeral for Terry at 2 p.m. Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at Beck Memorial Home in Bloomington. Chaplain Tim Mitchell will officiate. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the memorial home. Interment will be in Park Hill Cemetery, Bloomington.

Terry was born Nov. 2, 1955, in Bloomington, to Robert and Esther Marie Day Clark. They preceded him in death, as well as one brother, Brian Clark.

He is survived by his two sons, Aaron Clark, Leroy, and Dan Clark, Farmersville, Texas, and two grandchildren.

He worked for 35 years as a computer operator for Country Financial before retiring in 2010. He was a member of First Christian Church in Bloomington. Terry enjoyed golf, baseball and football. He loved to cheer on the Green Bay Packers and the St. Louis Cardinals.

Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.

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Evelyn J. Hilliard

Evelyn J. Hilliard, 84, formerly of Mequon WI, currently of Bloomington, IL died at her daughter’s home in Normal, IL on October 16th 2014 at 6:07pm.

Visitation will be from 4–6pm on Thursday, October 23, 2014 at Schmidt and Bartelt Funeral Home, 10270 N. Port Washington Road, Mequon, WI, with a service following at 6pm at the funeral home. Rev. Kim Burke will officiate. A private family inurnment will be held at a later date. Cremation services were provided by Beck Memorial Home, Bloomington, IL.

She was born on May 27, 1930, the daughter of Vincent and Elisa Camillo Porchetta. Evelyn married Bill Hilliard on July 2, 1966 in Milwaukee, WI; he preceded her in death on May 30, 1988.
She was the beloved mother of Laura (Rob) Lamont, Normal, IL; dear granny of Megan and Jake Lamont, Normal, IL. Also surviving are her siblings Angelo (Gloria) Porchetta, Milwaukee, WI; and Mary Orlando, Milwaukee, WI. Many nieces and nephews and dear friends in Milwaukee, WI and Bloomington, IL also survive.

Evelyn was preceded in death by both of her parents, and her siblings, Jo Ertl, Toni Giaimo, and Gregory Porchetta.

Evelyn enjoyed playing Mahjong, canasta, Scrabble and spending time at the Normal Senior center. Her obituary may also be view at

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Thomas Franklin McCowan

Thomas Franklin McCowan, Sr., 72, of Bloomington, passed away at 11:25 PM, Saturday, October 11, 2014, at home.

Visitation will be from 4—7p.m. on Wednesday, October 13, 2014 at Beck Memorial Home, Bloomington, IL. Funeral services will be on Thursday, October 16, 2014, at 11:00a.m. at the memorial home with Pastor Barry West officiating. Burial will be at Park Hill Cemetery, Bloomington, with military rites. Memorials may be made to his grandchildren’s college fund.

Thomas “Tom” was born in Normal, Illinois at Brokaw Hospital, on October 20, 1941, the son of Joseph and Dorothy Eileen Crow McCowan. He married Darlene Stine in 1963, in Bloomington, IL and became a father to Thomas McCowan, Jr., later that year.
He is survived by his son Tom (Kelly) McCowan, Jr., Bondville, IL; grandson, Brishan McCowan; and granddaughter Briahna McCowan, both of Sidney, IL, plus sisters, Joleen (Randy) Anderson, Aberdeen, WA; and Cathy (Rick) Clem, Bloomington, IL; brothers, Steven (Sue) McCowan, Mission, TX; Christopher (Brenda) McCowan, Champaign, IL; and Patrick (Jenny) McCowan, Chicago, IL. He is also survived by 18 nieces and nephews, plus 17 great-nieces and nephews, and former daughter-in-law Joni Roy of Sidney, IL. Tom was preceded in death by his parents, wife, Darlene, one brother, Mark McCowan, and one grandson, Evan McCowan.

Tom lived in Hudson as a child, and rural Towanda, but Bloomington was home most of his life. After graduating from Bloomington High School, he enlisted in the United States Navy, at the age of 17. He served aboard the USS Intrepid CVA-11, specializing in propulsion and power systems. He also rode “the Wire” at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on horseback, guarding US ammunition depots from the Communists, across a single barbed-wire fence, at the time just before the Cuban Missile Crisis. Tom visited many ports-of-call during his service to his country, but perhaps the highlight was being part of the retrieval operation for Mercury astronaut Scott Carpenter, in May of 1962.

After discharge from the Navy, Tom worked at Frey Motors and Ralston-Purina in Bloomington. He began as a lineman with the General Telephone Company in the mid-1960s, and worked his way up to become a Systems Engineer, a position he held for many years, traveling across the country, installing and repairing computerized telephone switchboards. He retired from the company, which by then had been acquired by Verizon, in 2002.

Tom enjoyed golf very much, and played as long as his health would allow. He was a member of the National Rifle Association and an outspoken patriot of his country. He enjoyed his grandchildren’s sporting events and was a dear grandpa to them. He would quote TV comedian Red Green to us all, at this time, “Remember, I’m pulling for you. We’re all in this together. Keep your stick on the ice.”

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William George Jensik

William George Jensik, 97, of Bloomington formerly of Berwyn, Illinois, passed away on Friday (October 3, 2014) at his home.

Bill’s service will be held on Thursday (October 9, 2014) at 11am at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, Bloomington, with Pastor Peter Weeks officiating. Following a luncheon at the church, burial will take place at East Lawn Memorial Gardens, Bloomington. Visitation will be held Thursday from 10-11am at the church.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Wish Bone Canine Rescue or to a charity of the donor’s choice.Beck Memorial Home, Bloomington, Illinois is in charge of arrangements.

Bill was born on August 7, 1917 in Chicago, Illinois, the son of William Paul and Marie Eck Jensik. He married Alvina M. Fedrowitz on September 9, 1942 in Elmhurst, Illinois. She passed away on February 13, 1998.

He is survived by his daughter; Nancy (Danny) Kiedaisch of Bloomington, 2 grandchildren; Kristy (Ben) Funk of Normal and Michael Kiedaisch of Bloomington, 2 great grandchildren; Isabel and Cecilia Funk along with his care giver, Vasyl Yaremko.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Dr. Robert Jensik.

He retired from Western Electric in 1980.

Bill loved traveling, and sitting on his screened in porch. He truly enjoyed playing cards at the Normal Community Activity Center. Halloween was his favorite holiday and his costumes were always a treat! He will be missed dearly by his family and his dog, “Ginger”.

The family would like to thank Advocate BroMenn Hospice for all their help and care.

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Karen Sue Atkins LaFever

Karen Sue Atkins LaFever, 68 of Bloomington, IL, passed away at 3:54am in Bloomington, IL on Wednesday, October 1, 2014 with her family by her side.

Visitation will be from 10:00am—Noon at the memorial home the day of her service. Services will be at Noon on Wednesday, October 8, 2014 at Beck Memorial Home, Bloomington, IL, with Rev. Ed Herald officiating. Interment will follow at Park Hill Cemetery, Bloomington, IL. Memorials may be made to the family in her memory.

She was born on January 27, 1946 in Bloomington, IL, the daughter of Murphy Owen and Evelyn Lucill Pence LaFever.

Surviving is her life long partner, Stoney Atkins, currently of Bloomington, IL; six children, Fred (Pam) Scheel, Bloomington, IL; Penny (Richard) Garrett, Bloomington, IL; Pam Gaddis, Bloomington, IL; Darrell Gaddis, Normal, IL; Travis Gaddis, Bloomington, IL; and Garen Roberts, Bloomington, IL. Also surviving are her two sisters, Anna Watson, Bloomington, IL, and Sharon Griffin, Bloomington, IL; twenty-one grandchildren; sixteen great-grandchildren. Other special Atkins family members that survive are, two brother-in-laws; and three sister-in-laws. Karen was preceded in death by both of her parents, one son, Billy Gaddis, three brothers, and two sisters.

Through out her life, Karen had nursed many animals in need back to good health. She was known to be able to tame baby raccoons and squirrels. She immensely enjoyed tenderly caring for the animals until it was time to be released back into their natural environment.

Karen had a deep and devout faith in her God.

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Christopher Louis Nalley

Christopher Louis Nalley, 54, of Bloomington,ILpassed away at 3:48pm at his residence on Tuesday, September 23, 2014 with his family by his side.

Visitation will be on Friday, September 26, 2014 from 4—7pm at Beck Memorial Home,Bloomington,IL. Services will be on Saturday, September 27, 2014 at 4:00pm at the memorial home with Larry Stark officiating. Private family inurnment will be at a later date. Memorial donations may be made to the Chris Nalley Memorial fund through Heartland Bank. With these funds, his sons are establishing the “Suiting Up for Summer League” program to register and equip youth in the Tri-Valley Summer League.  

He was born on July 10, 1960, inBloomington,IL, the son of Lyle D. and Hazel M. Phillips Nalley. He married Rhonda Owen on October 3, 1981 inDowns,IL.

Surviving are his two sons, Luke Nalley (Jessica Hodge),Bloomington,IL; and Jakob (Marissa) Nalley,Lansing,MI; and their mother, Rhonda Nalley. Also surviving is his brother, Jim (Marsha) Nalley,Downs,IL. He was preceded in death by both of his parents.

His love for baseball can be seen through all of the wonderful years he enjoyed coaching and officiating for the Tri-Valley Summer League. Chris was an avid Chicago White Sox baseball fan, as well as a sports enthusiast for many of the Chicagoland sports teams.

One of his many passions beside sports was spending time with his family, and watching movies.

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Hayden Theodore “Ted” Martin

Hayden Theodore “Ted” Martin, 95, formally of Danvers, passed away on Thursday, September 18, 2014 at Sugar Creek Alzheimer’s Special Care Center, Normal, Illinois.

 Masonic rites will be at 9:30am at the church on Saturday, September 27, 2014 performed by the Normal Masonic Lodge # 673 A.F. & A.M.  Visitation will be an hour prior to the services at the church. Services will be at 11:00am on Saturday, September 27, 2014 at the Danvers Presbyterian Church, Danvers, IL, with Rev. Mike Claver officiating.  Inurnment will follow at Park Lawn Cemetery, Danvers. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Sugar Creek Alzheimer’s Special Center Activities. Beck Memorial Home has been entrusted with the arrangements.

 Ted was born November 30, 1918 in Medora, IN, the son of  Rolla T. and Anna Laura Reeves Martin; they both preceded him in death. He married Virginia Berneice Mickens on October 6, 1940, at Palmyra, Mo.  She preceded him in death on November 14, 1993.  He married Mary Ellen Golden on May 23, 1996.  She preceded him in death on May 16, 2004.

 Surviving are two daughters, Lila (Jim) Hetzler, Danvers, IL; and Madeleine Martin, Peoria, IL; six grandchildren, thirteen great-grandchildren; and two great-great grandchildren. Also surviving is one sister, Norma Woods, Carmen Indiana survives. He was preceded in death by one brother, and two sisters.

 Ted worked at Caterpillar for 31 years, retiring in 1976. After retiring, he drove a semi tractor for 10 years.

 He graduated from Eureka High school; was a member of First Presbyterian Church of Danvers; a 60 year member of Danvers Mosaic Lodge #742 and past Master; 60 year member of Order of Eastern Star at Mackinaw and past Worthy Patron; a life member of Bloomington Elks #281; 60 year member of Blojomington Consistory and Peoria Mohammed Shrine; and Charter Member of Tin Lizzie Patrol.

 Special thanks to the entire staff at Sugar Creek Alzheimer’s Special Care Center and Hospice Compassus for the kindness, care and support you exemplified in the care of Ted.

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